Where should I bring a food lover visiting Brooklyn?
A good friend of mine is visiting me from out of town this weekend, and we all love food. I want to bring him to some really great, truly Brooklyn restaurants. We are all not picky and are willing to travel to many areas. If you had a friend visiting you, where is the ONE place you'd want to take them to eat? Special consideration to French, American and Indian food, as those are favorites. We'll be coming from Greenpoint if that changes anything... Which it might because the G is down all weekend. I have some ideas, but I want the food to really be impressive so I am crowd-sourcing the search.
Thanks in advance!
we ended up going to spuyten duyvil, le barricou, habitat, lomzynianka, brooklyn kitchen and pencil factory. The G being down really did a number on my plans for a park slope or cobble hill venture, but I am sure he'll be back... this was really helpful for me as a brooklyn-er though, as i've been wondering what i am missing out on living here. i am just waiting for an excuse to go to al di la and i have been researching southern and caribbean food ever since it started getting cold out... thanks so much for the thoughtful responses!
Tanoreen in Bay Ridge. They just moved from a small storefront to a large beautiful new restaurant. Be sure to make a reservation, we showed up last Saturday at 6pm without and they would not seat our party of four.
Best Middle Eastern in New York City: the food is beautifully presented, fresh, a huge variety of appetizers and entrees that you've probably never experienced.
If you aren't willing to venture all the way to Bay Ridge, some other favorites include No. 7 in Fort Greene, The Farm on Adderley (Ditmas Park), Flatbush Farm (near Park Slope) and of course Frankie's 457 in Carroll Gardens.
David's Brisket House on Nostrand & Herkimer. They make delicous corned beef, and pastrami sandwiches. They also have the best brisket in NYC, IMO.
Saratoga Country Kitchen on Atlantic Ave. & Saratoga. Nice, greasy fried southern food. Love their fried pork chops and fried chicken.
I'll fifth Al Di La.
New Spring Garden Restaurant on 65th Street between 9th and 10th Aves. Possibly the best dim-sum in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
BKLYN Larder on Flatbush Ave bet. Bergen and 6th Ave, and Caputo's Fine Foods on Court St. by 4th Pl, for provisions, such as meats, cheese, prepared foods and bread.
I'm going to also say Tommaso Restaurant on 86th Street by 14th Ave and Bay 8th Street. People either love this place or hate it. I am of the former.
B&H Kosher Bagel Hole on Coney Island Ave. bet. J &K for the best bagels in Brooklyn.
Avoid Junior's, except for their breakfast, and Nathan's, except for their fries. DiFara does indeed have delicious pizza, but you will probably wait for close to an hour for your slice/s.
Dumont, Diner in billyburg do good brunches (make res at Dumont, not sure about Diner)
Barcade is fun every once in a while if you enjoy 80's video games
Diamond as well but it is a beer/wine only joint
The Richardson is my favorite bar in the area but I don't know if it ranks on the Fun-O-Meter, just a good cocktail bar.
If you don't mind venturing down to the southside of williamsburg, brunch at Diner offers a nice glimpse of *new brooklyn* - the diffident hipster vibe is of course palpable, though not detrimentally so, imo.
I'd second recommendations for Al Di La, Applewood, Franny's, and Marlow & Sons, but again these are all more aligned with Brooklyn's recent gentrification than with the neighborhood's traditional roots. For a hint of South Brooklyn neighborhood warmth, Lucali is absolutely worth the trip (G service be damned), but get there before 6:15 and/or call ahead to put your name on the list and get an idea of the wait. Likewise with Di Fara, but the setting is much less inviting if you're planning to eat in.
Given that a "fun bar" is about as subjective of a classification as you'll find from one person to the next, take the following recommendations with a healthy dose of follow-up research:
- Lucky Dog (great draught beer selection, free shuffleboard)
- Larry Lawrence (lively late night scene, stunning design)
- The Woods (bonus points for the authentic Mexican food cart in the backyard
- Diamond Bar (seconded)
Elsewhere in Brooklyn:
- Bar Great Harry (Cobble Hill/Carrol Gardens)
- Floyd (Cobble Hill, indoor Bocce)
- Sunny's (Red Hook, and only if you're willing to go to the ends of the Earth/ends of the B61-B62 line for a truly raucous time).
Hope this helps more than it hurts.
EDIT - just saw dhs' recommendation for Diner above, and I agree, in case that's not obvious.
575 Henry St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Al Di La
248 5th Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11215
Marlow & Sons
81 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211
501 11th St, Brooklyn, NY 11215
295 Grand St, Brooklyn, NY 11211
Bar Great Harry
280 Smith St, Brooklyn, NY 11231
Saul has impeccable food, but not much Brooklyn flava. Easily accessible from the Bergen Street F/G station. Reservations strongly advised.
One stop down on the F/G line (Carroll) takes you nearer to The Grocery, an excellent choice. The menu is more daring than Saul's, with sometimes uneven results. Reservations strongly advised, but they keep a table for two available for drop-ins.
Juniors and Sam's have a lot of Brooklyn "flavor," but IMO that flavor is repulsive (Juniors cheesecake excepting). Frankie's 457 is also has a strong Brooklyn flavor, but that flavor is one of long waits.
If you want great Italian, you can't go wrong with Al di La in Park Slope. You'll have to take a car over there -- live a little! No reservations accepted, so go early. Look on these boards for recommended dishes.
There is no good Indian restaurant in Brooklyn, oddly enough. There are serviceable ones, but none that rise to even the level of good.
French cuisine is not Brooklyn's strength either. Your best bet is upscale American out of the three.
Saul - Excellent American food with the freshest ingredients and beautiful presentation.
Grocery - In a similar vein, seasonal produce, American cuisine prepared exquisitely. The presentation is a tad better at Saul, and the dining room is much more spacious at Saul.
Both restaurants are wonderful.
Agree on Saul. Great tasting menu!
Also love Applewood in South Slope. (Get the lobster bisque.) Can't argue with Peter Luger's.
Depending on the friend... Sam's Chop House on Court Street -- the pizza (getting it with garlic is the trick) is some of the best you will eat AND it is just such a New York experience. The cousins (?) who work the floor are out of central casting. The escarole and clams are really good, too. (Oh and it isn't on the menu but the calzone is awesome and big enough to feed an army.)
DiFara's for the best pizza in the world
fresh not canned artichoke on the sicilian square pie
across the street for Isaac's bakery for an ab fab kosher bakery experience
the best rainbow cookies in brooklyn
Downtown visit Junior's for an amazing experience
nice drink prices big portions corned beef and pastrami as well as ginormous desserts and the fabled cheesecake
for italian and pizza Franny's 295 Flatbush
go to Coney Island and have a frank and fries at Nathan's only one of the venue that's worth a damn
My husband and I had a phenomenal meal at Grocery a while back.
288 Smith Street Brooklyn, NY 11231-4650 (718) 596-3335
You can take the G to Carroll Street… if its going anywhere this weekend
(Im also a greenpointer G person so I understand the deal.
If not you can take the B62 down to DUMBO and check out River Café, a bit pricier but worth it in my opinion.
Indian - forget it. Bklyn's not the place. If you must, McDonald Ave off Church St & Coney Island Aves off Newkirk house several places that are small and may be ok.
American - you have choices. Mine, as everyone around here knows, would be Henry's End, especially since they're now in the midst of their game menu. Not cheap but great. Other very nice choices would be Chestnut, Applewood, Buttermilk Channel, Dressler, Marlow and, of course, Peter Luger's for steak.
French - I'm a poor judge of this so I'll leave it to others.